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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

When Donald Trump talks, people listen

President Donald John Trump took over the NATO meeting today. Again. He took questions from the press on every subject they could think of for almost an hour.

Reporters played their little gotcha games and the president played along.

Business Insider (which is the Karl Marx version of the Wall Street Journal) ran the headline, "The NATO summit started as uncomfortably as expected, with Trump slamming Macron's 'very, very nasty' statement on the group being brain-dead."

The actual story was Macron insulted NATO leaders in October, and Merkel and Erdogan insulted him back. Reporters asked President Trump about it, and he gave a straight answer.

According to Business Insider, he said, "When you make a statement like that, a very very nasty statement ... You have a really high unemployment rate in France. France is not doing well economically at all.

"It's a very tough statement to make when you have such difficulty in France. You look at what's happening with the yellow vests ... They've had a very rough year.

"You can't just go around making statements like that about NATO. It's very disrespectful."

He could have given a more diplomatic answer but we didn't elect Jeb! or Hillary, did we?

That was at an earlier press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

President Trump held a second one later in the day.

Fox News reported, "President Trump tangled with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday in a tense exchange in front of reporters in London, where Trump asked Macron if he’d like to take back 'some nice ISIS fighters' and then dinged him for his 'non-answer.'"

The president withdrew from Syria in part because France and other NATO allies won't accept the return of their citizens who joined ISIS.

At the press conference, President Trump turned to Macron and said, "I have not spoken to the president about that -- would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I can give them to you, you can take every one you want."

After Macron's lengthy response, President Trump said, "This is why he’s a great politician, because that’s one of the greatest non-answers I’ve ever heard."

The president was not a boor. He showed discretion. Asked about the attack in London this weekend, he said, "No, I don't have the comment on the London Bridge attack other than to say I was very proud of those people grabbed him and did such a good job between the fire extinguisher and whatever else, it was an amazing job they did."

But he is not backing down on his push to have NATO allies live up to their promises of devoting at least 2% of their GDP to their own defense. Asked how he will get allies to live up to their commitments, he told reporters, "Maybe I'll deal with them from a trade standpoint. Maybe I'll deal with them in a different way... we don't want to have people be delinquent."

He began his real estate career by learning how to collect rent at 16.

CNN said, "President Trump claimed that NATO countries are contributing more financially because of him."

They are.

CNN also reported, erroneously, "Trump contradicts Pompeo on US support for Iranian protestors."

This was based on being asked if he would comment on the protest. He said the answer is no.

As the American media never corrects itself unless driven by embarrassment or the filing of legal action, the president tweeted a correction for CNN.
President Trump is the most accessible and most interesting president in my lifetime. If only we had a press worthy of him and the American people.

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